Something Different: Current Music Obsession

BG and I often have similar music tastes, with a few exceptions. She refuses to listen to most of my older music, unless she can relate it to a meme. I don’t listen to some of her YouTube or game music finds (still have no clue how she finds some of the music she does). The common theme between us is that it is danceable and has an amazing beat.

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Another Goal!

I got notification that my book is finally, fully published on all the platforms I submitted to. One more publishing goal checked off. It’s a small goal, but it is still a pretty awesome one.

I am also probably going to have to place another order of the paperbacks for myself as all the ones I bought for the first round were gone before I could blink. I had about half of them accounted for when I placed the order, but between giving a few away for reviews and BG being a better salesperson than I am, I’m out.

I do still have an opening for a reviewer that wants any of the ebook versions. Just drop me a message if you are interested.

Book Review – Playing With Fire: Magical Romantic Comedies, Book 1

Author: R.J. Blain
Book Name: Playing With Fire
Series: Magical Romantic Comedies
Order: 1
Genre: Romance/Paranormal/Urban/Fantasy
Rating: Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it.

For Bailey, catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day, but she has few other options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up some of the world’s nastiest magical substances.

Years after helping Police Chief Samuel Quinn escape an unhappy marriage, Bailey is once again entangled in his personal affairs. To make matters worse, Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, tossing Bailey into the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

This was full of snark and humor in an over the top kind of way, but knowing it was over the top makes most of the ridiculous even more funny. It never really settles into any level of serious, maintaining that crazy, snarky vein throughout the entire book.

It takes a slightly different perspective from the typical in the magical and creature concepts that fantasy/paranormal worlds are built on, which I found really refreshing. By the time I got to the end of this, I was really wishing it delved a bit more into that world because it was different and interesting.

This was also very light on the steam factor, so if that is what you are looking for, you won’t get it here. Nothing at all against steamy, but I did love that there wasn’t so much page time dedicated to overly wrought steam scenes because it left more time for snark and ridiculousness and frickin’ flaming unicorns that think napalm is fun to eat. In this case, I’ll take the flaming unicorns.

Today’s Project… Painting

I need to preface this with the fact that I don’t normally paint. If I do, it is almost always something small like the faces on my nutcrackers or something like that. I have done a few projects over the years, but I’ve never felt like I was very good at it. When I took pictures of BG in her pointe costume so I could use it as reference for the cake, I fell in love with the entire shot. It just would not let me go and next thing I know, I need to try and paint it, even though that isn’t really my thing.

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Book Review – Upside Down, N.R. Walker

Author: N.R. Walker
Book Name: Upside Down
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance/MM
Rating: Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb: Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realizes adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

This was cute and sweet and seriously funny. One of those warm, fuzzy reads. Come one, who isn’t going to crack up at the perfect visual of “feline buttholitis of the face.” Both of the main characters were adorable, but I really loved Jordan.

I think the only reason I’m not giving this the full five stars is because it does ride that line of being syrupy, perfect sweet, but it is still a really awesome book and is exactly what I was in the mood for.

Book Review – Dead Memories: D.I. Kim Stone, Book 10

Author: Angela Marsons
Book Name: Dead Memories
Series: D. I. Kim Stone
Order: #10
Genre: Suspense/Mystery/Police/Crime
Rating: Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb: She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

Oh, look! I’m writing about a book that isn’t mine!

The fact that this is book 10 in this series and that I’m still sticking with it is nearly miraculous, especially considering genre. Ms. Marsons has managed to keep me interested in these characters and these stories by ensuring that they stay feeling fresh and unique instead of falling into the trap of having similar (or even identical) plot pieces that make stores feel cookie cutter. That is one of the things I have loved about this series. Every story always feels like it is different from all the others.

For the first time in the series, though, this book brings in the concept for a second time of Kim being targeted specifically. The first time, it was sort of a secondary plot line in a larger story. This time, it is the focus. I did like that it brings up a lot of Kim’s history and we learn more about her as a character, but this book didn’t feel quite as unique as the others in the series.

I did really enjoy this story, but I wonder if it is an indication we are getting to that point where that uniqueness begins to wear off. I’d really hate to see that because it is one of the things that has kept me coming back book after book.

Looking For Reviewers

I am down to one paperback copy for this and a spot or two for another reviewer. If you or someone you know would like a copy (ebook or print) in exchange for providing a review, please drop me a note or pass this along! Every tiny bit helps, especially as a brand new author in the indie field.

TJ Fox

On to the part of the book process that I dislike with a flaming passion. Pretty much begging for help. As a raging introvert that struggles with most any communication, this part is excruciating, but necessary. That said, I do need some help from anyone that is willing to step forward and volunteer to read my little baby and give me a review. Ideally, I’d like to see reviews spread out in various different places like Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and blogs, but I’m not going to be picky.

I am looking to get between 3 and 5 people willing to write up a review in exchange for a copy of my book. I’ll provide their preferred format, ebook for any platform I’ve published on or a print copy that I can mail to you. If you are posting to a blog, I’ll add a copy or snippet of your review…

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Thank You Gift Completed

As is so often the case when I work with a project like this, the finished piece is a little different that what I originally pictured. The pictures also NEVER do the finished piece justice, especially when it comes to stones that have any kind of flash in them, and this one is full of flash.

Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant
Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant

I am so thrilled to have this piece done. It really has been a long time coming, but it needed to wait until now so it could be the perfect thank you gift to an amazing friend. It is more than worth the time and seriously achy fingers. It’s been WAY too long since I’ve done any kind of jewelry work and those calluses I’d built up are long gone.

Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant
Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant

This is definitely inspiring me to get back into my studio and do something with all those lonely stones just sitting in the dark. Maybe next time I’ll get my torch out and play with some fire.

And One More Time!

After not being able to work on that pendant yesterday and complaining rather loudly to Hubby, I realized that I was going to be way too frustrated by the time he got home to just borrow his reading glasses to work on it. That and he would need to take them with him when he went to work today so I broke down and we went and picked me up a pair after he got home so I don’t have to worry about stealing his. *Sigh* He and the kids could not let it go without at least a dozen “granny glasses” comments, so it is official. I have “granny glasses”. At least I can see to do what I need to do and I’ll be trying it again today.

It’s funny. I tried to see if it made a difference in what I can read, thinking maybe things really hadn’t been as clear as I’d believed. Uh, no. Not even close. I cannot read with those suckers on. I can see the individual lines of the tiny wires I need to see, but forget trying to wear them for anything else, so I guess I don’t feel quite so bad. Lots of jewelers need to use loupes and magnifiers to see some of that tiny detail work, so I shouldn’t be so upset that I need a little help as well.

Not A Fun Discovery

So, I’m all revved to get started on my project. I get everything organized and set up. Get my music going. Sit down with my wires and my stone. Get a few pieces cut and start wrapping when I notice it. My eyes refuse to focus on the fine gauge wires enough for me to be able to count them. I literally cannot see the difference between one wire and the one next to it. They just merge into this kind of shiny blob with faint hints of shadows where the division should be, but I just cannot see the individual wires. It didn’t really matter how close or how far away I was, I just could not get those details into focus enough to work.

That realization just about made me cry.  I have always had really good vision, with the exception of a tiny blip after OC was born where I needed to wear glasses for a couple of years, mostly for driving (was told it was pregnancy related hormones and it corrected itself after MC was born). I have been able to do tiny detail work in all kinds of different areas all my life. Tiny little seed beads. Sewing. Fine details in drawing. Thin thread crochet. All the things you need to be able to see really well to be able to do. Now, I probably can’t do a huge majority of those things. At least not without help.

I’d had to fix a necklace for BG a few weeks back and I had to snag Hubby’s reading glasses to see, but I honestly thought it was just because what I was trying to fix was smaller than what I was used to working with along with my eyes being irritated from allergies and it wasn’t a big deal. Apparently not.

What makes all this even more frustrating is the fact that I had my eyes checked about a year ago and there were no issues at all. I was told that the amount I was off was so small it wouldn’t be worth it to try to get glasses and that was more for distance. There wasn’t even a question of my up close vision.

I am sad and frustrated and angry. Being forced to put this off until I can steal Hubby’s reading glasses again ticks me off. I’m also worried what this means for me being able to do the things I love if I’m not able to see well enough to do them.

Another Busy Day

Today is my day to get my butt back into my studio and work on a long overdue piece of jewelry. It has been a couple of years since I’ve done anything in my jewelry studio and this is not going to be an easy piece because, as usual, I can’t do it the way I already know. I have to do something different. Of course. Because I can’t make things easy. At all. Ever.

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